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Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

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JenniferMarie
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by JenniferMarie » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:00 pm

My Question to everyone is, can I have H. Pylori even if the blood test came back negative?

For the past three months I have been so sick, the biggest complaint of mine was heart palpitations and lightheadedness. They kept telling me I was fine, my heart was fine. Then my lymphnodes under my arms started to swell up. I had always had a dull achy feeling under my left ribcage. I kept telling the doctors, they just werent listening. Because on the outside I look fine. I finally went to a gastro doctor and he did an endoscopy and found gastritis. Well I was relieved becasue I thought they were going to say everything is fine, and then I would just be crazy!!

So now I have to wait for the biopsy results...he is checking for celiac disease and bacterias, including Pylori. My gut feeling is telling me it has to be some kind of a bacterial infection because my lymphnodes swelled up so much. I am just so scared and SICK OF WAITING.

He said the inflammation goes all the way up my esophagus. Ugh, I can actually feel when it flares up and I feel like I can't breathe. I have been to a cardiologist, neurologist, pulminologist, rheumatologist, gastronologist, oncologist...the list goes on. I'm glad i'm finally starting to get some answers. Pepto Bismol is the only thing that helps me out.

Helico_expert
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Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by Helico_expert » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:26 pm

Hi,

sorry to hear what happened to you. It is unlikely that blood test will give you a false negative result for such gastritis. Have you consider a second diagnostic method such as urea breath test? that will cover all organisms that survive in the stomach that produces the enzyme urease. perhaps you have a different Helicobacter species that is not detectable by blood test (just my assumption).

I agree that you should wait for your endoscopy result. hopefully they have collected biopsy and is performing histology testing and attempt to culture Helicobacter pylori.

DDR4321
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:42 am

Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by DDR4321 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:58 am

Great question Jennifer, sounds awfully similar to my experiences. How are you doing now? Any progress?? My endoscopy revealed gastritis & stomach discoloration. I also had a abdomen xray with contrast that showed an irritated duodenum. However, i've tested negative for h pylori in my endoscopy and blood test.
I'm totally miffed. I beginning to think that not everyone that has h pylori tests positive for it. I just want my life back, i haven't been able to work for a year now!

shelle18
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:16 pm

Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by shelle18 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:37 pm

I too have been wondering if the breath test can come back positive when everything else has come back negative. I've had the bloodtest and endoscopy done. They've done bloodwork and a CT scan of my liver and pancreas. Everything has come back 'normal' but the gastroenterologist did say my stomach did show signs of irritation. In a little over a year, I've lost over 50 lbs and am still losing; I have sharp stabbing pains in different spots in my stomach, sometimes lasting up to 3 days. I can keep very little down, with no known 'trigger'. I've had light-headedness, tingling fingers and have started to easily lose my balance, even when standing still. I've already had my gallbladder out. I'm getting ready to have the bloodwork for Celiac disease and gluten allergies, as well as the breath test for H pylori (requested by me to my regular doc). My gastroenterologist and his office staff treat me like I'm crazy.

My husband's aunt has had many of the same symptoms and all the same tests. Her breath test came back positive and was told it was a chronic, non-curable but symptom treatable condition.

I'm just tired of being sick and tired of people (doctors) treating me like I'm crazy! I want to know what is going on so we can deal with it and find some way to get on with my life!!!!

Helico_expert
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Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by Helico_expert » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:46 am

if breath and blood test came back negative for H. pylori, you are almost certainly negative. There are cases where H. pylori negative patients suffer from stomach inflammation. Sometimes, it could be due to some kind of auto immune disease.

your stomach pH normal? sometimes, it could be due to the high pH and other pathogen able to grow in the stomach.

Helico_expert
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Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by Helico_expert » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:08 pm

rephrase the quote a bit.
"H. pylori not cultured, does not mean H. pylori negative".
nonculturable but viable H. pylori will give CLOtest/breath test/stool test/blood test/histology/DNA test positive.
each of the above test is over 90% accurate.

So, if two or more test came back negative, it is very likely to be negative. Culture, unfortunately is very skill dependent and every lab produce different success rate in growing H. pylori. Hence not the best way to determine the infection of H. pylori

billd75
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 8:16 am

Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by billd75 » Mon May 25, 2015 10:49 am

Helico_expert wrote:rephrase the quote a bit.
"H. pylori not cultured, does not mean H. pylori negative".
nonculturable but viable H. pylori will give CLOtest/breath test/stool test/blood test/histology/DNA test positive.
each of the above test is over 90% accurate.

So, if two or more test came back negative, it is very likely to be negative. Culture, unfortunately is very skill dependent and every lab produce different success rate in growing H. pylori. Hence not the best way to determine the infection of H. pylori
Very interesting! After getting blood tests for this bug and it coming back negative for the H.Pylori antibody, but feeling as though I do have this bacteria, I read this answer and thought "o.k. I am not crazy!" Like many others in here I have similar symptoms and more that match H.Pylori, even down to mysterious gout (after eating sugary stuff especially, or a little red meat, wheat etc. but not stuff typically high in purines which are known to cause gout.) and pain at the bottom of my left rib etc. I have lost weight, due to sharp pains after eating right in the duodenum/stomach area. So it makes you not want to eat as much. I have treated with all kinds of natural remedies from Lemon juice (awesome!) to ginger to coconut oil, Garlic, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Deglycerized licorice root tablets or Slippery Elm, Cranberry juice, Probiotics, Pau D' Arco, Oil of Oregano, Turmeric, Vitamin D (due to the fact that it is a bactericide) Vitamin C, and a couple of others I can't remember. The only "over the counter" pharma that helps this is Pepto Bismol (Bismuth) or Zantac. I don't use all of these constantly mind you or all in the same day (that would be dangerous and crazy) , except the Lemon juice and vitamin C and D and Coconut Oil a couple of times a day (no Lemonade because of the sugar. Lemon juice with water) and Turmeric is a daily thing. I rotate the rest around because I don't want to do something dangerous to my system, make myself worse or let this thing get too used to anything. I am convinced it is a bug. When I attack it like a bug, it acts like one. Now my wife is showing some initial symptoms of the same. All of these natural and over the counter things work in some fashion or another. I use them because I read that they either kill H.Pylori or hinder it's growth or offer stomach pain relief. They certainly do! Especially Lemon juice, Ginger and Coconut Oil. I have found my recent combo of Slippery Elm and Pau D' Arco is working quite well. The pain initially started in the stomach for the first two months and has spread to the rest of my digestive system. H.Pylori is known to seek refuge further into the digestive tract, not just the duodenum. It will will actually "swim" to other locations if you attack it's environment and make it "inhospitable". Basically that is what I have done. I have had a stool test (for Ova and parasites) and even done a Fecal occult blood test, just for safe measure. I have not got the results as my useless Dr. is out of town till June 9th now. I am going to see a Gastro specialist but who knows when? They are very busy and I may not get to see them for months. I know H. Pylori very well now from self research. Intimately. It is one TOUGH bug. Is it what am suffering from though? After I tested negative for the antibody my Dr. has been treating me like I am crazy (a familiar scenario from what I see here) yet after describing my symptoms initially to him (and after getting my blood checked for diabetes because of sugar being a trigger for the gout and my stomach pain) he was the one that suggested I get checked for H.Pylori! One negative and he's now convinced it is not this bug? Even when I tell him that I get relief when I treat it like a bug? This guy is well known for being dismissive and not listening to his patients though and misdiagnosing things, so it is no surprise. He misdiagnosed my Grandma's friend when she had tests to prove she had cancer. He prescribed mouth wash. Turns out she did indeed have throat cancer. Idiot. So, now you see why I am here. In this wonderful forum! I am now starting to realize that I am not crazy in my notion that it still could be this bug. Especially now that my wife gets sharp pains usually for more than an hour from eating sugary stuff (trigger) under her left rib or the same food that sets me off. There are MANY foods that can set it off. Broccoli doesn't though (sulphur noids) and neither does Garlic or anything that acts as anti-bacterial that is known to kill this bug, or it does not like usually goes down easy. This thing SCREAMS bug, but I am not a Dr. and I need an EXPERT Dr.'s opinion on this. I am not crazy, I know it. Please tell me I am on the right track here? 5 months of this and it seemed to start at a restaurant in November. I ate there, had belly aches and was on the toilet for 3 days. Then the problem seemed to go away. 3 weeks later the pain under the left rib started and it has been a battle ever since. I feel drained, sometimes light headed (but not anemic cause I keep my iron up) I now have vitamin deficiencies like Calcium that I did not before (from not digesting food properly I bet, due to messed up stomach acids, thank's H.Pylori! Digestive enzymes have helped my absorb nutrients better though as has Pineapple Juice) All kinds of things point to exactly this bug. If not Pylori, then what? What other bug acts so much like this? The only reason I have not ended up in an emergency room is because I learned how to deal with this thing. Other wise I would be buckled over in pain, in bed, groaning and holding my side, like I did in the beginning. I know I have been kind of "all over the map" in this post and I hope it all makes sense. Just trying to be as descriptive as possible. Hehehe. Please help?! Thank you to everyone also for your vivid descriptions of your symptoms. You all seem to sound like me in one way or another. The answers have been stellar too!

Helico_expert
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Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by Helico_expert » Mon May 25, 2015 3:31 pm

like i said previously, blood test is pretty accurate. Then again, laboratory can make mistake. your stool test will tell you if you have H. pylori. It'll be rare to have both results screwed.

So, what could it be if you are H. pylori negative? it's actually getting more and more common these days as we see less H. pylori positive patients and more non-h. pylori related gastric problems. I dont think there is other bacteria in your stomach. It's too acidic for any other bacteria other than H. pylori to survive. at least no other bacteria in the stomach has been discovered yet.

another two common reasons for stomach problem would be NSAIDS and allergies. Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as espirin, ibuprofen, Voltaren and many more, are responsible for 50% of the stomach ulcer cases (more common in the duodenum). Not sure if you are taking any herbs. But many traditional herbs are spiked with a little bit of these NSAIDS which they claim to work for headache or any chronic pains. Because the quantity of the NSAIDs are not controlled. Some ppl may end up over dosing. or in long term use, causes duodenal ulcers.

allergies are becoming a very popular topic in stomach problems. More and more people are found intolerance to gluten. perhaps you want to see a dietitian or immunologist to find out if you are allergic to certain food?

in regards to lemon, garlic, coconut oil, broccoli, and etc. They all kill H. pylori in the laboratory. None of them have shown to be able to eradicate H. pylori.

if i have not answered your question, please do ask again.

billd75
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 8:16 am

Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by billd75 » Tue May 26, 2015 7:37 am

Helico_expert wrote:like i said previously, blood test is pretty accurate. Then again, laboratory can make mistake. your stool test will tell you if you have H. pylori. It'll be rare to have both results screwed.

So, what could it be if you are H. pylori negative? it's actually getting more and more common these days as we see less H. pylori positive patients and more non-h. pylori related gastric problems. I dont think there is other bacteria in your stomach. It's too acidic for any other bacteria other than H. pylori to survive. at least no other bacteria in the stomach has been discovered yet.

another two common reasons for stomach problem would be NSAIDS and allergies. Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as espirin, ibuprofen, Voltaren and many more, are responsible for 50% of the stomach ulcer cases (more common in the duodenum). Not sure if you are taking any herbs. But many traditional herbs are spiked with a little bit of these NSAIDS which they claim to work for headache or any chronic pains. Because the quantity of the NSAIDs are not controlled. Some ppl may end up over dosing. or in long term use, causes duodenal ulcers.

allergies are becoming a very popular topic in stomach problems. More and more people are found intolerance to gluten. perhaps you want to see a dietitian or immunologist to find out if you are allergic to certain food?

in regards to lemon, garlic, coconut oil, broccoli, and etc. They all kill H. pylori in the laboratory. None of them have shown to be able to eradicate H. pylori.

if i have not answered your question, please do ask again.
Wow! You are awesome Helico Expert! Thank you for your quick response! Fascinating stuff you revealed that I did not know. Thank you for reading my post and giving me some great answers and ideas. At least you are trying to help, which is more than I can say for my family Doc. This site may get a donation out of my tight butt yet. Hehehe. I have got an answer from the Gastro Specialist today and an appointment for Sept. 1. It's not ideal, but hey, at least it is an appointment. I have suffered with this for 5 months now, so what is another 3 months right? As for your answer, I will give you some more details about me and my experience and lifestyle. I forgot to add in my last message, that I am a smoker (more than a pack a day, but less than 2 packs a day.) which my Dr. tried to blame as well, but I didn't buy it, because it seemed like he was grasping, for lack of better answers or suggestions. He is a known "cop out" artist. If he wasn't why would he have prescribed mouth wash for throat cancer for my Grandma's friend, even with positive tests results for cancer? Smoking has stuck in my head though regardless, as a possible cause, because I know it is a BAD habit and it is actually known to cause stomach issues. At the very least, it is not helping. On to food allergies and intolerances. I have had food allergies and intolerances in the past, so that is a possibility in my mind too. The weird part is I have tried to study/eliminate those possibilities to no avail. I still get pain after eating seemingly random foods. No pattern except sugar (the worst trigger) and possibly gluten, but even non gluten and non sugary natural foods seem to cause pain. Just not as badly as gluten containing or sugary foods. As for Nsaids I do use them but not heavily. Only when I need them for pain or headaches. Maybe once or twice a week if that, and usually only once in a day. Sometime only once or twice a month. I take them sometimes for bad back pain from Osteoporosis (from a broken back years ago and spinal fusion) but I only take them to take the edge off and only when I really need them. I do not take them when my stomach acts up either because they do make things worse, you are totally right there. I am not taking a lot of Nsaids and not often. Fascinating to hear though that some herbs are spiked with Nsaids though?! I did not know that! Wow! Good to know. Speaking of headaches/nsaids. I did go through a stage (about a month and a half ago) where I was getting wicked headaches for a couple of weeks. Ones that would sometimes wake me from a dead sleep and migraine like ones that I never had before. Very painful. The worst ones I have ever had in my life. The only relief I got was from doing neck stretches, massage etc. before bed and during headache attacks. Even Nsaids were barely touching these headaches. Now I am not having that problem any more it seems. I dismissed it as either due to this problem or maybe Sleep Apnea (which I do have and have been tested for) Here is something else I did not mention. When I eat and something that upsets my belly more than usual (which is a pinching/sharp, or sometimes burning pain under my left rib. Sometimes though it is just discomfort though and no bad acid reflux (GERD) to speak of, just bad gas though) it seems to "travel" beyond the stomach to the right side and throughout the digestive tract now, where it did not for the first few months. It was limited to the stomach only. The pain moves as my food moves and digests sometimes now. Now it is a pain that can be start left move right and sometimes both at the same time. Very weird. Still left primarily, but the right side and even down toward the very bottom of the digestive tract sometimes, close to the belly button even seems to get irritated with similar sharp pains as the left rib thing, only not quite as intense as those. My stools are frequently soft and or diarrhea like. No visible blood to speak of. Stools are not hard typically and I never get constipated since this started. I am QUITE regular. More so than I have ever been. Hehehe. Sometimes after a bowel movement my stools look a bit weird. Mucous in my stool is higher than usual it seems (indicating my body is trying to get rid of something) because when I did a stool sample (Ova and parasites). I had some whitish/yellow mucousy streaks which i tried to get a lot of for the samples I submitted. The instructions said to look for mucousy spots and try to sample from those primarily. So I did. On another note, anything that is known to irritate the belly (like coffee/caffeine) I have had to cut back on dramatically and it helps. I only have about 2-3 cups a day now, if that. Sometimes only one. I use Stevia in place of sugar to sweeten whenever possible which does help. It does not irritate like sugar does. Sometimes I use the store bought Stevia powder for other things like fruit or whatever (but not in drinks like tea or coffee because the processed powder does not taste right with acidic drinks, that's where I use straight leaves or my concentrated water extract). That is the reason I bent so heavily toward H.Pylori because it is known to do some really neat "sugar tricks" that are very unique to it. It is a fascinating bug to study (very smart!) and I can see why some therapies (even multiple antibiotic therapy) sometimes fails. Like I said before it a tough bug. Nature has been very kind to it in terms of it being able to facilitate it's own survival in some VERY interesting ways. I hate the bug, but I do have a weird respect for it too. Lol. Anyway, back to the issue. Could it be an immunological issue not related to H.Pylori? I never thought of that, but it makes sense. I try to "bolster" my immune system because I know that smoking lowers immunity. I take a decent multivitamin/mineral supp. and other vitamins and I eat very healthy (more homemade food and not much processed food or chemicals or junk) because a couple of years ago (well before all this started) I basically quite processed and junk food and started to eat more "organic" when funds permit and more "real". I will never go back to that old junky lifestyle either as I just felt overall better when not eating that stuff. I even reverse osmosis my water now so as to avoid Fluoride, Chlorine and all the other chems they put in our municipal drinking water. It is sometimes so bad that it reeks like a public swimming pool when you turn on the tap. Typically when algae blooms are high in the summer. They lace our water something fierce, so I have a little R.O. system for my drinking and cooking water. My bath water though is unfiltered/non R.O, so it is not a "whole house R.O." thing. Can't afford that. I do try to cut the chems in my life though (especially in water) because I have a real moral issue with the use Fluoride in drinking water. I don't even use Fluoridated toothpaste. It does absolutely nothing for teeth anyway, but help rot and slowly weaken them and can cause or contribute to so many other health issues (like Osteoporosis, which I have). So, as you can see I "try" to live a basically healthy life except for smoking. That's why this new stomach issue sort of surprised me. I felt so good for the first couple of years I changed my diet and lifestyle and then, bam, this thing stole that from me. I suffer pretty much daily with this and only through some home remedies have I got some relief and the odd over the counter thing like Zantac or Bismuth. It is better now than in the beginning. I used to be buckled right over in pain back at Christmas when this thing got really bad. My Gout was bad then too, but I am now on Allopurinol to control the Gout and it keeps it at bay. I don't drink alcohol or eat high purine foods that would cause bad gout, so it is an odd case of gout, that seems to be triggered mainly by too much sugar or gluten more so than anything else in my diet. I doubt my recent stool and blood tests showed anything terribly irregular. The tests were over a month ago now and no call. He said he would call me if anything irregular showed up, but I do not put a lot of faith in him in any capacity, even call backs. It seems like stress makes my condition worse. It is a big trigger and before the discovery of H.Pylori it was thought to be the exclusive cause of ulcers. I have pretty much ruled out Candida Fungus by the way because I have had that before too and I wiped it out quite easily through alkalizing my diet and I know what that bug feels like and how it acts with me. It acts totally different than this new "condition". I wonder though, because I get such relief from Lemon Juice (which has an alkalizing effect once inside the body) if it would not hurt to try a bit more alkalizing? Sorry for such a long post again. Just trying to give you as much detail as possible to give a better overall picture. Any further ideas or thoughts? Thank you. Your help is much appreciated. I feel like I am talking to a true stomach expert now. I am happy that someone is taking me seriously. Short of my appointment with the Gastro Specialist in Sept. Don't worry, I will not "jump" on or read too much into any ideas or suggestions you may have, as I know you are just giving advice over the internet and it is nothing like seeing a Dr. in person or similar. I just want a bit of input from a stomach and bug expert, which you sound like. Thank you again for your help.

Helico_expert
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Can you have H. Pylori if the blood test is negative??

Post by Helico_expert » Tue May 26, 2015 9:39 am

Thank you for sharing your very interesting story. Always excited in reading people being passionate in healthy lifestyle. Perhaps you can donate a packet of cigarette money here now and then. That would be a good way to cut down your cigarette.
:)

I am going to give you random information that you may find helpful.
Nuts and peas can increase your uric acid, which ultimately give you gout.

NSAIDs reduce your stomach mucous. Hence your stomach acid start digesting your own stomach/duodenum, which ultimately gives you ulcers. Paracetamol on the other hand have no such side effect. Perhaps you want to switch to Paracetamol instead.

salty food can make your stomach mucous watery. So bacteria can swim better. the stomach mucous is extremely sticky in acidic condition. Even H. pylori cannot swim around. But H. pylori can produce alkaline to make it less viscous. So it can swim away from acid.

vitamin is good. but overdosing anything good will just turn bad. So remember not to overdose anything.

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